10:29am PT by Aaron Couch, Ryan Parker
Chris Evans Tells 'Avengers: Endgame' Premiere Crowd He "Cried Like Six Times"
It was an assembly of Avengers like no other and a star-studded premiere the likes of which won't be seen again for a long time.
The Captain America actor may have been joking, but then again, maybe not. The screening featured moments of silence in which the only sound heard was sniffling from the audience. Audible gasps, laughs and cheers also erupted during the movie, which, despite the three-hour run time, saw nearly no one leave for a bathroom break for fear of missing out a big moment.
Endgame boasted the most star-packed movie premiere carpet since last year's Avengers: Infinity War — with Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Scarlett Johansson just the tip of the iceberg as far as recognizable faces at the Los Angeles Convention Center. They, and fellow original Avengers Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner, each said a few words after the screening, where they received a standing ovation alongside directors Joe and Anthony Russo and the rest of the cast.
Endgame comes as Marvel Studios is expected to say goodbye to some of the key players that have turned the Marvel Cinematic Universe into one of the most powerful brands in Hollywood. Finding an end to that story has been on Marvel's mind for four years, when it decided to build toward Endgame.
"You need an ending for a great story. You also need an ending for a new beginning," Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the screening.
Feige is currently plotting the next set of Marvel movies, and is also expanding into streaming shows, set to launch on Disney+
"You can't expect anything to be bigger than what we've been up to in the last year, but you can expect it to be different and unique and build up again to something equally, I hope, surprising," Feige said.
The mood at the premiere was surprisingly relaxed for a film of this size. There was a lot of hugging in the line for the final security checkpoint just before the screening, where audience members had to give up their phones. Guardians of the Galaxy's Chris Pratt chatted with Disney studio chief Alan Horn, while Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi embraced Jon Favreau, with whom he's working on the Star Wars Disney+ show The Mandalorian.
The Endgame premiere wasn't par for the course in a few ways. Rather than having it on Hollywood Boulevard, Disney and Marvel constructed a 2,000-seat theater with a 70-foot screen in the convention center for the event. The venue allowed Disney to have a moat of security around it in a way those other theaters don't. Feige and his filmmakers and stars generally speak to the audience ahead of the screening. But Monday night, Disney and Marvel were conscious of Endgame's three-hour runtime, with Marvel executive Victoria Alonso advising press to make a bathroom pitstop before things got rolling.
Only Disney CEO Bob Iger took the stage for brief remarks ahead of the screening, thanking those who had worked on Marvel movies in the past and singling out two people — Iron Man star Downey ("the person who really helped start it all") and Feige, calling him "a master storyteller."
The full credits were not shown at the end of the movie — also absent were Marvel's famous post-credits scenes.
Secrecy on Endgame has been on a level only seen with Star Wars (or, of course, last year's Infinity War), and fans became worried last week when leaked footage emerged online.
"When it gets threatened that close to release, it's just disappointing," screenwriter Christopher Markus told THR. "But I was very heartened by the reaction online which was almost universally, 'screw this guy, we're not going to watch it."
One person who is relieved he did not spoil anything was Ruffalo, who accidentally live-streamed part of the Thor: Ragnarok premiere in 2017 and spoiled the major deaths in Infinity War months early (though nobody knew at the time).
"There’s been no intrigue, no calls, no getting taken aside. I guess I am behaving," Ruffalo told THR with a smile.
Benedict Cumberbatch has been the subject of much fan theorizing thanks to his role as Doctor Strange in Infinity War, in which he had a vision of how the Avengers could defeat Josh Brolin's Thanos. He says he encourages fans to dig into those theories if they like, though he never reads them.
"I think it’s cool," Cumberbatch told THR. "If you want to wait, wait, because I think it’s going to be worth it. If you really want to try and piece together the clues, play that game."
At the afterparty, stars such as Evans, Hemsworth and Ruffalo hung out at their reserved tables, greeting well-wishers. When some small children sheepishly approached Evans and Hemsworth, both men greeted the young fans warmly.
Marvel directors who came out in support included Black Panther's Ryan Coogler and Ant-Man's Peyton Reed. Filmmakers Jason Reitman and Kevin Smith were also among the crowd, as were actors Bradley Cooper and Matt Damon.
At last year's Infinity War premiere, Downey took the stage to give a lengthy, impromptu speech that served as a summation worthy of the MCU's 10th anniversary. But Monday, he had just one line for the crowd — a reference to a Tony Stark line in the movie that will make sense once you see it.
"We have a lot of parties and afterparties to get to, so we're just going to say, we love you 3,000," said Downey, referencing a line his character says in the movie.